(Reproduced from my home blog Alpine Opinion)
there is one over-riding question for my caucus colleagues, and that is, who is best placed to defeat Tony Abbott at the next election? Mr Abbott, I believe, does not have the temperament or the experience to ever be elected and hold the office – the high office – of Prime Minister of Australia. But at present, and for a long time now, he’s been on track just to do that.
That’s how Kevin Rudd rounded off his speech explaining why he was resigning as Foreign Minister. It’s a clear message to his ALP colleagues – “I will give Tony Abbott a real run for his money at the next election but, if you stick with Julia Gillard, there is no hope.”
And he’s right. And that’s why he will get the job back from the person that took it from him. Maybe not on Monday. My guess is he’ll be ringing around to gauge his level of support and if he’s got as many as, say, 40 out of 103, then he’ll challenge when Gillard calls the spill – the one she’s now locked into calling. Even if he loses that vote (and he probably will) the damage will be done and it will only take another bad opinion poll, or another stuff up, for the Gillard supporters to give her the marching orders.
Alternatively, Rudd may not contest the leadership on Monday at all and, instead, prefer to wait her out. And why should he put his hand up if he only has 20 or 30 current supporters? Gillard and her key Ministers like Crean & Swan are the ones who have brought this to a head by going very much on the attack this week including (so it seems) releasing that video of Rudd swearing. If Rudd thinks he needs more time he’ll take it. And leave Gillard with egg on her face and a hollow, meaningless victory.
Rudd is certain to be PM sometime this year.